30 Scents in 30 Days – Day 27 – Hyde + Alchemy – 013

I’m slowly but surely making my way through the massive Discovery Kit from Hyde + Alchemy.  Today I pulled from the pouch 013.

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photo by smellallthethings

013ylang ylang, jasmine, orchid, gardenia, vanilla, olibnaum, patchouli, amber, sandalwood

The liquid has a slightly purple tint (on the site it’s much more noticeable) and it was the first one when browsing their site that caught my eye so I’m super excited to try it!

Without even opening the vial I can smell the florals as they wheedle their way out, intent on being sniffed.  Good thing?  Bad thing?  Guess I’ll find out!

Jasmine! Gardenia!  Ylang ylang!  The orchid is just sitting back like “‘sup?” knowing it’s awesome without all the yelling, jumping, and screaming “me! me! me!”.  Thankfully that initial period is short lived.  Like it took me longer to write that then the actual phase lasted.  Which is cool.

Now it’s like this funky floral incense.  Funky in a good way.  Funky like that dress you want that is kind of like a hippy-type dress but modernized and you know you could rock the hell out of it but you’re like kind of afraid to go for it on the off chance that your family just doesn’t get it.  Yeah, that kind of funky.  That cool funky, laid back funky, the kind of funky you like having around even though you might not pull it out all the time, but it is great for those moments when its down-right needed.

The vanilla is strong in this.  Stronger than other vanilla’s I’ve smelled when supported and surrounded by this many other strong scents.  There’s also something a touch spicy in here – one of the florals with that edge to it.

Small bit of a soap phase going on here.  Gardenia’s can sometimes go soapy on me so I’m thinking that is the culprit.  Going to walk away and do something else and let this meld with my skin and settle for a bit.

… 5 hours later …

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image via hyde + alchemy

To say this became something wholly different than it was initially would be an understatement.  Oh. My. Gosh.  This became a super sexy, slinky, black cocktail dress and f–k me shoes of a scent.  Little red lipstick smeared on a napkin with your number as you tuck it into a hot guys back pocket of a scent.

What I’m saying is … it’s sexy.  Ahem.

On my skin it’s warm and a touch spicy.  Reminds me of those classic gems Shalimar and Opium.  The florals are soft and skin close.  The muskiness of the Olibnaum and patchouli sneek out and rope you in further.  The vanilla is there but intertwined with the amber so that it’s a golden sweetness.

Seriously an addicting scent.  BRB going to slather!

Sweet Potion Perfumes – General Catalog Reviews

As a daughter site to Siberie Perfumes (quite literally), Sweet Potion Perfumes speaks more to the gourmand lovers and young (at heart).  The theme is adorable and the scents are girly and very uplifting.  Fun and playful!

There are no real names to the blends, just numbers, which makes it easier in my opinion to remember which one you love the most.

Sorry to bring this follow-up post so late!  I had company staying at my house and they are, unfortunately, extremely sensitive to scent and so out of respect I didn’t wear anything/review anything while they were here.

 

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photo by smellallthethings

#1 – Bubble Gum, Sugared Berries, Banana Soufflé, Juicy Apples

In the bottle this reminds me strongly of Bazooka bubble gum!  It’s a powdery sweetness and very reminiscent of childhood.  On my skin I still get a very heavy bubble gum scent (maybe you put two in your mouth!) and a bit of those berries.  I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m enjoying the touch of sweet banana I get from this!

As it dries down I get more of the apple note complete with the skin.  A lot of sugar is coming out.  Gobs of sugar.  Loads and loads of sugar.  Did I mention sugar?  Because … ya know, there’s sugar in this.

Once completely dry this becomes quite a beautiful scent.  It’s sweet with a hint of something spicy, like cinnamon or nutmeg with an almost musky apple rounding it out.  It’s amazing how this went from super sugar gum to the end result of a sophisticated and only slightly gourmand scent.

The throw on this is slight and it tends to stay close to the skin.  The longevity was good at about 2-3hours.  After that all I get is a slightly pink sugar smell, which is still very pretty.

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#2 – Marshmallow, Milk Chocolate, Cherry Cordial, Vanilla Bean

In the bottle I get a very light vanilla and chocolate scent.  On my skin however it becomes a super syrupy cherry scent – like the inside of a cherry cordial.  Really, I dislike the taste/smell of actual cherry cordials – and this is an extremely accurate representation of that.

I’m not getting much marshmallow.  This is almost too candy-like for me.  It’s really not my type of scent.

It drys to a boozy vanilla bean scent with just bare hints of cherry and chocolate.

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#4 – Pumpkin Pie, Caramel, Gingerbread, Amber, and Vanilla Bean

Quickly sniffing the bottle this is pure pumpkin pie spices with an emphasis on nutmeg.  I love a good nutmeg.  On my skin I get a slight tingling sensation – nothing major, but I’m very confident about the exact spot the oil is sitting.  Might be from cinnamon, so those with sensitives be wary.

I’m getting a good throw from this right out of the gate with a sweet pie scent and something that reads as gingerbread crust to my nose.  On the drydown this also begins smelling a bit dry, perhaps from the amber adding a touch of powdery-ness to the overall blend.

In the end this becomes an almost edible pumpkin pie scent, though the dryness from the amber continues to make itself present.  This is also heavily spiced.

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#5 – Jasmine, Gardenia, Pink Roses, Vanilla Bean, Baby Powder

In the bottle this is full on baby powder … backed by a bit of Jasmine.  Not bad, but as someone who only just recently put the baby powder away, it’s a smell you don’t soon forget.

On my skin I get even more baby powder.  This is a very pink and very floral blend, yet still lends itself to feeling soft.

The throw on this is slightly overwhelming, like I’m inhaling over scented baby powder.  May be for some people, but I’ve spilled enough baby powder in the last 6 years that I don’t feel the need to wear it any time soon.  But maybe there’s someone out there that would enjoy just this kind of scent!

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#6 – Cotton Candy, Sugared Berries, Marshmallow, Vanilla Bean

First sniff in the bottle I’m greeted with a very, very boozy vanilla with a bit of squishy, sweet marshmallow.  On my skin it almost immediately becomes super soft and almost imperceptible.

Once it dries I still only get just a vague sense of sweetness from the application spot.  I ended up putting on a bit more to see if it helps – perhaps it’s one that likes to be slathered.

More definitely helped!  Now I’m getting red, red berries with a dollop of almost tooth-achingly sweet cotton candy.  The throw isn’t very large, and it never looses that candy-like sweetness.  It’s a very red berry candy scent.

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#7 – Vanilla Cupcakes, Butter Cream Frosting, Lemon Zest, Sugar Sprinkles

In the bottle this smells almost exactly like a lemon sugar cake – something like blueberry lemon cake without the blueberries.  On my skin this seems to be almost a Lemon Cream single note – which isn’t bad for those that love lemon!

As this dries I get more of that vanilla cake scent with lemon and a touch of something almost creamy.  I don’t seem to really get a true butter cream scent, but more something in the background.

This has a decent throw and dries completely down to a sort of lemon cake/cookie cross.  It has a nice touch of sweetness without over doing it and it hints at something almost nutty in the background.

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So – if you’ve liked anything I’ve reviewed here and the previous post – you’ll get a chance to win one of these 5ml bottles!  Keep an eye out on my blog for more details!

Conjure Oils – Starman + GC Reviews

If you are anything like me, looking at Conjure Oils‘ website makes your head spin (and maybe strains the eyes a bit).  But I powered through (and even got a few decants of Starman from Ajevie), and found a set of samples I wanted to try.  I’ve always heard great things about Conjure Oils so I’ve been quite curious for a while.

My only complaint, so far, is the wax.  I’ve already broken a nail trying to get enough off to be able to open the vial.  Rocking the top seems to help, but then I noticed there’s oil under the wax so I’m worried that it will leak now that the wax is off.

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photo by smellallthethings

Starting with the Starman scents, which were a tribute to the late and beautiful David Bowie, I have Anisocoria.  That is the medical term for the condition of his eye which was permanently dilated.  It’s notes are listed as Dried tobacco, willow, Parma violet, Egyptian Sandalwood, aged oak, blood cedar, marionberry and persimmon.

In the vial I get a lovely soft violet with a hint of oak and something watery.  On my skin the tobacco comes out and is brown yet slightly brittle.  The sandalwood is freshly harvested and still alive, yet fragrant enough to give off scent.  I get a bit of sweetness from the marionberry and persimmon, but nothing overwhelming and it does well to enhance the blend rather than detract.

This dries into a very soft floral scent with a touch of berry-like sweetness.  The oak, cedar, and sandalwood give a fragrant base for the sweet florals to rest upon.  I get a very feminine feel from this blend, but not old-lady type feminine, more a modern feminine with an edge of something … different.  I really like it much more than I thought I would when I first put it on.  It’s developed into a beautiful fragrance and while the throw isn’t huge, I do get the occasional hint waft up to me.

Longevity wise, this particular blend is wonderful.  I’m going on about 3 hours now and it’s showing no signs of fading.

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The other Starman scent I chose is China Girl with notes of: Obsessions and moodiness are balanced by night blooming jasmine tea, China musk, notes of rain beating loud as thunder, yuzu, hinoki, rose geranium, clary sage, osmanthus and tender bamboo leaves with Neptune influenced gem and flower essences of Labradorite and Grass Widow.

I may or may not have China Girl and Major Tom memorized. And shame on you if you don’t!  (Kidding)

Jasmine is a loved note of mine, and somehow with the tea it’s just beautiful.  I also get a touch of bamboo and rain from the vial.  On my skin the China musk is very apparent, though soft and slightly powdery.  There is no mistaking this for anything other than a deeply Oriental perfume, soft, floral, and flowing.  While still slightly wet the throw on this blend is crazy.  It is not a shy blend for sure.

Unfortunately, as this has dried it has become something of a soapy scent.  Not a bad one, rather a very nice Oriental floral type soap scent that I wouldn’t mind having in my guest bathroom (or even my own).  But it’s not particularly something I like wearing on my skin.  Also, the throw is massive and it’s a tad overwhelming.

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Samia is part of the Conjure Caravan and contains notes of: playful and flirty lilac and sassy dianthus bask in the sensual glow of golden sandalwood, white opium and amber.

This is the vial that began leaking as soon as I removed some of the wax and honestly, the scent that transferred to my fingers is awesome and I want to put some on.  The vials for the general collection (I guess that’s what it is, hard to tell) are about 1.5 ml’s but only filled about 1ml.

Sniffing the vial I get this intoxicating scent of opium, amber, and sandalwood.  No wonder I was drawn to this blend!  I love opium.  On my skin I get those gorgeous florals as they float and flutter around the base.  This isn’t a dark blend, far from it.  It’s light and gossamer.

I could really see myself using this as a sleep blend.  It has that drowsy quality to it and almost smells like something out of a dream.  I’m kind of sad though, that the longevity on this one is somewhat lacking.  Though, for a sleep blend I suppose having it only last a few hours is okay.

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Venomenon, which is fun to say, contains notes of: Sugared Victorian tea rose, candied violet petals and sweet pink strawberry tea with cream obscure a dark heart of subtle red peppercorn and blackest amber.

It appears I bought these while I was on a violet kick. In the vial I get creamy violets with a hint of something darker, likely the black amber.

The violets are soft, powdery, and not really candied to me.  I’m not getting any strawberry really, but a bit of a sweet cream with tea.  The peppercorn is adding just a touch of spiciness while the amber gives a sense of a darker tea and has a hint of resin in it.

This blend doesn’t particularly call to me as I seem to be over my violet stage, but I can’t deny it’s beautiful and soft.  Definately Victorian in feel and extremely feminine.  It almost feels … chaste, if that feeling can be brought out in a scent.  The throw on this is very good and wafts up around me nicely.

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Guardian Angel proves I have some foresight!  It’s notes are: Thirteen vanillas, butter cream, angel food cake and layers of heavenly coconut cream – and that is what I’ve been craving lately (though minus coconut but we’ll see how that goes).

CAKE!  Glorious, sweet, and slightly spongy cake!  You CAN have your cake with 0 calories!  This is a gorgeous spongy angel food cake heavy on vanilla with a dollop of sugary cream that in no way gives me that coconut I so dislike (and so dislikes me).  There’s nothing here to detract – no spices, no berries, no flowers.  This is straight up midnight feasting guiltily on as much cake as you can grab before someone wakes up and hears you.  Only there’s no real need to worry see.  They can search that kitchen top to bottom and not find that cake they swear you had because it’s perfume!

I only have one real complaint … I wish there was more throw to this.  I know, it’s vanilla and cake and making that have a throw can be hard, but a girl can wish, right?  Luckily the longevity is nice.  I got about 4 hours before I felt the need to slather on some more.

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The Dark Mother sounds perfectly dashing with notes of: white narcissus, black orchid, aged neroli, Indian patchouli, red roses, the darkest of sandalwoods and the blood of the heart of an innocent, er, I mean bloodroot.

In the vial I get the most glorious of dark woods, likely the patchouli, sandalwood, and perhaps bloodroot.  I love narcissus for the almost narcotic quality it adds.  The orchid is dark and lovely, soft and velvety while adding it’s beautiful fragrance.  I get roses, and they are heady and full in bloom, but they don’t overwhelm the other florals in the blend like they sometimes can do.  Neroli is hugged against that narcissus and giving it a little bit of a kick.

This isn’t quite that dirty and gritty patchouli, but it sure isn’t a softie either.  This patch is dark, yet smooth, sleek, and refined.  It does a lot to enhance and add to the dark sandalwood.  There’s almost a smoky quality to the blend, but it’s not smoky at all.

You get a true sense of something dark yet beautiful with this blend.  The throw is fairly good, but isn’t overwhelming – it floats like a feather on the wind to tickle your nose instead of punching you in it like some roses can do to me.

Every now and then I find a blend that draws my wrist to my nose and I find myself almost unconsciously huffing.  This blend has done that.  I can’t stop smelling it!

The longevity on this blend is to die for as well.  Working on about 3 hours now and it’s still softly wafting about.  It’s smoothed out a lot but not lost any of what I love about it.

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Wolf Moon (February) is said to be A fragrance fit for the young love of Lupercalia – Ethiopian frankincense, violet, bay laurel and a soft heart of Indian sandalwood.

Wolf Moon in the vial is, to put it bluntly, simply overwhelming and hit me with a blast of violet and bay laurel.  Enough so that I jerked back and almost dropped the vial!  Oops!  Maybe that’ll teach me not to take a smaller test sniff first.

On my skin this is mostly violets with a touch of bay laurel.  I’m not getting any sandalwood or frankincense.  Unfortunately it seems this blend is not going to give anything other than violets and bay laurel.  I would’ve loved some resins or smokiness from the frankincense and that smooth wood from sandalwood and I think it would’ve helped the blend, but it’s just not working on my skin for some reason.

Win some, lose some.

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The Shadowy Shawl has some intriguing notes: sweet patchouli, amber incense, ginger musk, moonflowers and black sandalwood.

In the vial I was greeted with the soft gossamer sweetness of moonflowers with a backdrop of dusky sandalwood.  On my skin the patchouli comes out and combines with the resinous amber.  There’s a definite ginger undertone, but nothing strong, just enough to give it a bit of oomph.

This blend is quite enjoyable, almost cozy, and makes me smile to myself.  There is a definite sweetness about it without there being anything sugary or vanilla-like.  I love how smooth the patchouli is.  Shadowy Shawl is an apt name for this blend.

There is not much of a throw to this as it stays fairly close to the skin.  It’s very dusky and comforting and the longer it wears the more I sniff it and find another aspect I enjoy.

I think this blend is all about that unique ginger musk!  It’s very different.  The longevity is on par with most of the other blends so far, though it has a very low throw.

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Rounding out this set of reviews I have The Befuddling Fan with notes of: white opium, ginger lily, Eastern temple sandalwood and a gentle haze of violet fog.

Just looking at the notes I wonder how this will relate to Samia.  Another blend that is heavy violets in the vial.

Wet on my skin it is still heavily violets and I’m not getting any of that beautiful opium, lily, or sandalwood.  Even after this has dried on my skin I’m not getting anything other than the violets.

Even as this dried down and I wore it for a few hours I, sadly, did not get anything other than those violets.  Mind you, they were nice violets – soft, velvety, and slightly powdery – but it was not the full spectrum of the perfume.

Overall I’m enjoying Conjure Oils and I look forward to exploring more of the catalog in the future!  I definitely plan on getting  at least a bottle of The Dark Mother, if not Guardian Angel and Samia as well.  And of course, no order is complete without a few samples to ride along!

Villianess – Scent Samples

After years of looking, reading, and stalking the Villainess site, I have finally purchased a set of samples from them.  I love their site, their theme, all of it – so I’m excited to delve into these samples.  They’ve had plenty of time to relax from their travels and they got some rest if they needed a bit of aging.

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photo by smellallthethings

Might as well start this off with a scent from their namesake, Villainess.  Its notes are listed as: Our signature scent – all ball gowns and combat boots. Raw, smokey leather and sweet vanilla musk engulfed in a sheer haze of exotic florals – ylang, neroli, jasmine, lilac and tuberose.  Sleek black leather jumps out from the vial as I take a sniff.  Thankfully that backs off almost the moment it touches my skin.  I get the smoky part of the leather along with a light touch of vanilla musk.  The florals are soft and ylang, jasmine, and lilac seem to be the most prominent.  This is strong, assertive, unisex almost verging on masculine.  This kind of morphs between strong leather and soft florals.  Finally it begins to settle down into this rough, raw leather scent with just a hint of those white florals.  It’s strong and the throw is mighty.

Vale has notes of Musky warmed saddle leather, rich notes of espresso and clove, and a coconut-sweetened masala.  Seems Villainess likes the leather.  Who can blame them?  This is espresso with a shot of chocolate – I think it’s a cocoa note I’m smelling.  The coconut is more like a milk.  Horchata I believe is the drink this is reminding me of, but with a hint of leather.  This is certainly a blend all its own!

Decadence comes with notes of: an indulgent vanilla – alcoholic, buttery and bittersweet with delightful undertones of tonka and coconut. Our favourite vice.  I’ve been dying for more vanilla scents so I’m super excited about this!  In the vial I get the boozy vanilla with a hint of coconut.  The coconut comes out more on my skin and it’s that juicy, watery coconut milk and not the flesh.  The tonka also gives this a beautiful brown fuzzy feel and keeps the vanilla from going too boozy.  This certainly is decadent and oh my goodness I want to bathe in this … and I can!!!

Jai Mahal is another vanilla blend (woot!) with notes of: 4 rich vanillas and tonka, Mysore sandalwood, bourbon and coconut. Expensive woods, incense and imported spices – cedar, amber, myrrh, cardamom and nutmeg.  Woods, incense, nutmeg, and vanilla is wafting so deliciously around me.  There isn’t as much vanilla in this one as there was in Decadence, and it’s different despite it sharing notes.  This warms on the skin and gives a sun soaking, spicy feeling.  It’s soft and beautiful and alluring.

Morpho contains notes of: Sheer blue musk and a breath of old books, delicate touches of blackberry and juniper, and a whisper of plumeria. In the vial I get the softest bluest musk that smells powdery.  On my skin I get the blackberry and the plumeria is more than just a whisper.  After a minute the juniper comes out with that worn and antique feeling it gives me.  In the beginning this can be slightly overwhelming, after about 10 minutes this has a huge throw and is almost candy-like.  Something along the lines of SweetTarts or that powdered candy.  It’s making my jaw hurt (you know that sensation when you taste something sour) and my mouth water!  It takes about 30 minutes or so before that sour sweettart like scent morphs into this blue, soft, and powdery scent.  Very feminine and soft.

Byzantium will round this review series out with notes of: Precious woods and resins – cedar, pine and sandalwood, frankincense, amber and myrrh – at play against a sheer base of Egyptian musk, barely spiked with imported spices, and lightly veiled in smoke.  This is very soft when it first goes on with soft, golden Egyptian musk and a soft smattering of spices. As this dries and warms on my skin the woods and resins come out and this is just so beautiful.  Golden and warm, this is standing out in the sun, sand beneath your feet, and a lean-to for when you’re in need of some shade.

 

 

 

Deep Midnight Perfumes – Game of Thrones Inspired Samples

Another review for the lovely shop Deep Midnight Perfumes!  This time I am reviewing the Game of Thrones Inspired set of samples.  I have to preface this by saying I’ve only read 2 of the books and watched the first episode of the show.  In my defense, I have small children and some things are not appropriate for their eyes to see and their ears to hear.  I do, however, hear regular updates from my husband who has both read the books and watched the show, so I have some idea of these concepts.

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photo by smellallthethings

Raven Boy was inspired by Bran Stark and has notes of Oakmoss, earthy musk, tobacco leaf, sage, dark vanilla sugar, amber, aged oak and background florals notes of iris and damask rose.  Ooh, this is deep and dark, beautifully done.  On my skin the dark vanilla sugar and the aged oak have melded into one.  The sage is not very noticeable – I only get a hint here and there.  Tobacco leaf and oakmoss and that beautiful earthy musk is giving this a greenish-brown feel.  The iris and damask rose are not prominent and only serve to lift a little and give a hint of sweetness that’s been rounded out.  This is dark, like a dream where the edges are fuzzy and the only thing in sharp relief is what you have your inner eye turned upon.  This blend is unisex, but with a slight masculine lean.  Overall the scent stays close to the skin, like a dream fog.

Little Dove is a olfactory representation of Sansa Stark with notes of linden blossoms, lilac, and lily, are mixed with delicious arctic berries, and nuances of violet, apple, and soft, creamy musk then wrapped up in sweet green notes of willow and bamboo.  You don’t see bamboo too often in notes but it’s one I love and I am drawn to it when I find it.  Doesn’t always work out, but it’s fun in the mean time!  In the vial you get that wet and green bamboo, some of the apple, and a lot of floral.  On my skin this is softly sweet, slightly green, and a touch dewy.  There is something that keeps wanting to go a bit “sex” on my skin.  Ahh, it’s mellowed in the last 5 minutes.  The arctic berries have a touch of frost on them, but are otherwise red and juicy.  This is a beautiful fragile yet fragrant scent – soft, beguiling, sweet, and innocent.

Faceless Girl is inspired by Arya Stark with notes of cedarwood, black amber, lavender, cassis, olive leaf, cassia bark, and patchouli are softened up with notes of tonka bean, sandalwood, ylang ylang, rose otto and violet.  In the vial this is a deep dark lavender with some gorgeous patchouli.  On my skin the cedarwood and cassis/cassia bark come out with a touch of sandalwood and ylang ylang.  The rose otto is fighting for attention but that calms down after a bit thankfully.  There is a definite oriental vibe about this blend with a hint of something reminding me of a darker fougère.  The notes are so well blended now that I’m having a hard time picking them out.  Overall I get a very shadowed vibe, strong yet feminine, only slightly floral and this is reminding more of early Arya when she was still being forced into being proper and feminine and her life hadn’t been touched by so much death.

Snow Wolf is meant as a representation of Jon Snow with notes of Cedarwood, leather, rosemary, dark woods, black amber, and a touch of cool, frosty mint.  In the vial this is leather and mint.  On my skin I still get some of that cool and crisp peppermint, but it isn’t strong or overpowering.  It takes a little bit but the woods come out with a hint of leather.  I’m not really getting any rosemary.  This is masculine and almost gritty in feel.  I know there’s no steel or metal in the blend, but the combination of the mint and the leather is giving off that feeling.  You can almost feel the heavy leather on your back keeping you warm in the bitter cold.

Stormborn has the pleasure of being inspired by Daenerys Targaryen (yes I copy/pasted because I would’ve butchered the spelling) whose notes include Dragons blood, oud wood, patchouli, jasmine, desert earth, cardamom, and moss.  The dragon’s blood is very strong and is unlike any dragon’s blood from any company I’ve ever tried before.  Instead of being either floral, or super spicy floral, this is a soft and gentle floral with just a touch of spice, which could actually be coming from the cardamom.  You get the jasmine and the oudh.  The patchouli is mixing with the desert earth to give a golden yet dry feel to the blend.  Overall this is powerful and comanding – more unisex than feminine, and keeps trying to tip to something kind of boozy.

Valhalla Soap Co. – Sample Sets

With my last order, I nabbed two more pixie packs full of more wonderful scents!  Valhalla Soap Co. has also recently released their Spring scents and a new cocoa body butter lotion that can be shipping during those pesky summer months, and Sif’s leave-in conditioner and de-tangling spray.

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photo by smellallthethings

I’m kicking this off with one of the scents that soooo many have raved about on the facebook page – Oak, Ash & Thorne.  Its notes include barrel aged Bourbon Vanilla, embodied by ancient cedarwood resin and dark Indonesian patchouli, softened by rich, warm amber and a touch of exotic sandalwood. Warm, golden, and resinous describes this perfectly.  The patchouli isn’t overwhelming as it sits in the back giving some support.  Amber and the barrel aged bourbon vanilla are the stars of this blend with the sandalwood and cedarwood rounding it out nicely.  This almost has an ancient feel to it, as though this scent has weathered the ages and stood the test of time.  There is the barest hint of sweetness but this is all about the amber and woods.  After a while, this is still very true to the initial impressions I had.  This has very little morphing as it dries.

Pendragon’s Passion has some passionate followers and its notes comprise of deep, sultry and fiery notes of dragon’s blood slither around warm amber and sweet blood orange while resting on an earthen floor of dark patchouli.  This magical blend opens with a sweet blast of blood orange, freshly peeled and just being squeezed as you inhale.  Dragon’s blood is a note that some people love or hate or even love to hate.  Personally, I enjoy the floral version, but not so much the spicy version.  This blend uses the more floral version – but it’s that deeply red floral that almost feels resinous along with that amber.  The patchouli is the same from Hedonistic – the non-hippy slightly orange feeling patchouli and by far my favorite patchouli I’ve had the pleasure of smelling.  The longer this sits on my skin the more it warms up into this slinky and almost seductive scent.  Blood orange is still apparent, but it’s more the after effects and less the super fresh and juicy bit like it was in the beginning.

Norseman has notes that include Balsam Fir, Juniper, Cedar, Clove and Blood Orange.  From my first order I’d received a small soap sample and my kids and I all enjoyed the scent and the soap so I had to get the oil too!  First sniff I get lots of fir and juniper with a touch of cedar.  The fir has a huge throw and I can smell it just typing this out.  As it dries I get a touch of the clove with its signature spice scent and just a hint of blood orange, but it seems it’s more of a dried orange scent than fresh.  The juniper gives that antique scent I associate with it.  Overall this is a very masculine coniferous forest – strong and lasting.  In the soap I got more of the cedar, clove, and blood orange whereas the oil has more fir and juniper.

Rain Dance (also known as Ice Giant) lists notes of an earthy all natural blend of citrus and mint. Peppermint comes to the fore front of the blend – but not the sharp kind – that good peppermint that is equal parts melty vanilla and minty peppermint.  This blend is cool and it really does have an hint of something earthy in it.  Unfortunately I’m not a fan of mints in general unless they are not the star of a blend, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t an awesome blend in its own right.

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photo by smellallthethings

7 Sins From Sunday is another (there’s a lot) fan favorite over at Valhalla with notes of jasmine and lavender tangled around exotic amber,vanilla and sandalwood with a whisper of earthy patchouli. Finishing with sweet lingering notes of dark cocoa bean.  Not sure if I’m having a bad skin chemistry day or what, but in the vial I got some nice jasmine and lavender with a touch of vanilla but on my skin … dryer sheets.  And it’s not strong or anything, more of a used dryer sheet where there’s barely any smell left.  And now it’s gone.  Either I have a blind spot or my skin eats it.  So weird.  I’m sure it’s quite lovely though from the hint I got from the vial!  I think I need to see about getting this in a wax melt or soap or something.

Okay, so that was weird.  It took about 15 minutes (and me walking outside in the warm sun) for any real scent to show up.  But now … wow!  7 Sins is soft, snuggly, and warm.  It’s close to the skin and the florals aren’t overwhelming at all, but are rather like their scent is floating in the window on a warm breeze.  The sandalwood and vanilla are soft and sweet and I wouldn’t have guessed there was patchouli in there either.  I’m not getting any cocoa, thankfully, as I’m not a chocolate scent lover.

Battle Kry is comprised of sea spray, the familiar smell of leather breast guards and polished steel. In the vial this is soft and worn leather while on my skin that salty sea spray takes over.  It is a briny scent, oceanic to the extreme, with hints of leather and that metallic tang of steel.  All the notes ebb and flow so that not one takes the lead for long, just like the waves of an ocean.  Eventually the super saltiness melts away and you’re left with the memory of the sea clinging to your blade and clothes.

Sandalwood has no notes listed, but it’s been in a lot of blends I’ve loved from Valhalla so I’m excited to have this to use alone or layer.  I love how simple yet complex this scent is.  It is golden and warm, woody yet it has a sweet undertone to it that is unique.  This is raw and untouched sandalwood, freshly harvested, still a little moist, but it dries as the oil dries on your skin so that you’re left with the beautiful fragrant wood.  Definitely a must and one I could wear all by itself or it would layer very well with other blends.

Shieldmaiden has notes of citrus and florals on a woody background. Top notes of orange, and watery greens with a middle of jasmine and rose on a bed of juniper, patchouli and vanilla.  This is a very fresh and clean scent in the vial however my skin chemistry is turning this into fabric softener (and actually the exact scent of the brand I use … so that’s good?  at least I like it?) and I’m not sure what is doing it.  It might be the rose.   Rose and I have had quite a few years to work with each other and only a few types of rose work on my skin and if a company changes where they source their rose EO I can usually tell because my skin will react different.  Yeah I think the rose is doing it – it’s screaming at me and it’s only getting louder the longer I wear it.  Oh well, can’t have them all I suppose.

Sixteen92 – Summer 2016 Mix Tape

There are times in your life when you’re the only one of your friends with a car, high school is close to being over, and you just need that one perfect mix tape to blast.  The windows are rolled down, the sun is shinning, and you’re just driving with no particular destination.  Maybe you’re singing along, maybe you’re thumping the steering wheel, maybe you’re just letting it flow over you as you contemplate the life, much like the road, in front of you.

This new collection by Sixteen92 – without even sniffing it – is nostalgia in a pretty box for me.  Lots of good and bad things happened during the time this is reminding me of – but I’ve survived and now I get to look back on it with rose-tinted glasses and a heavy dollop of knowledge and just shake my head at my younger self.

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photo by smellallthethings

Bells For Her (sweet basil, dandelion, star jasmine, green vines, mandarin, ozone, green tea, crushed mint) is a song by Tori Amos that came out in 1994.  Here’s a link to the YouTube video I listened to while reviewing this scent.  In the vial this is green, both in color and in scent.  On my skin this is almost bitter sweet, like the song.  Basil is prominent – I loved my herb garden and the smell I would get on my hands when I would pick what I needed for dinner.  The dandelion is yellow and glowing while the jasmine is fragrant and sweet drifting on the summer wind.  Mint isn’t very noticeable other than to give a slight cool breeze-like feeling to the scent.  The mandarin adds a touch of sweetness and rounds out with the green tea, as though the two are mixed like a cool drink.  The ozone is simply the wind and the sky and the sun all combining to add their unique scent to the mix.  This is the height of summer when you are awkward – not quite a teenager – yet you’re almost too old to go out and simply enjoy yourself in your back yard.  Closing your eyes, walking aimlessly, headphones on and cares brushed off, this is like walking to walk.  Walking to get away.  Walking to find yourself.  The route nor the destination mean much, just the journey itself is what you crave.

Bruise Violet (red lipstick accord, dusting powder, white iris, violet leaf, damascus & bulgarian rose, red grapefruit zest) is a song by Babes in Toyland, released in 1992.  This is the video I listened to while reviewing this scent.  In the vial this is powder and lipstick.  On my skin the iris and rose come blasting out ready to rock.  This is like getting your first bit of makeup and playing dress-up in front of your mirror with adult clothes.  After a while all the scents of the make up, the perfume your Mom let you take (or maybe you snuck) and those high heels that your friend let you borrow … it all mixes together while you blast your music.  Got the house to yourself because the siblings had a soccer game and you convinced your ‘rents to let you stay home alone.  This is a scent for red lipstick and stuffing your training bra with socks – ya know, just to see.  Man this scent stays strong – like you sprayed too much of your Mom’s favorite perfume and you just know she will find out because there’s no amount of scrubbing in the next 10 minutes that’s going to take that scent away.

Shadowboxer (jasmine fleur, may rose, blond sandalwood, mango flower, praline) is a song by Fiona Apple which was released in 1996.  Fiona Apple was a guilty pleasure of mine since I was into the grunge/goth scene in high school and she was so very not grunge or goth.  This is the video I listened to while reviewing.  In the vial it’s all sandalwood and praline – strong and almost overpowering.  On my skin the jasmine comes out.  I’m not entirely sure what mango flower smells like but there is something almost tropical about this scent.  This is floaty and flowing – moving and changing and shifting with each scent.  The praline isn’t nutty, at least not that I can tell – and my skin tends to do weird things to almond scents, so maybe it’s only almond and not all nuts.  It is very hard to describe this scent  it’s at once dark and bright. After a while the sandalwood takes the lead, the flowers sit back and relax, and the praline just adds a touch of sweetness.  This is a beautiful scent and one I hope they release in EDP format.

New Radio (vanilla milkshake accord, maraschino cherry, pink lemonade, grass clippings, waffle cone) is by Bikini Kill released in 1993.  The video I listened to while reviewing can be found here.   In the vial this is all vanilla milkshake.  Oh wow, this scent is like the first time your Mom let you go to a festival with your friends.  No parents, no rules, all fun!  You ate yourself silly, spent all your money and had so little to show for it but you had a freakin’ blast!  The waffle cone is soft from the vanilla ice cream while the cherry is eaten first.  The pink lemonade is such a contrast to the vanilla but it just makes it that much better.  Somehow this blend is not foodie at all, despite all the notes and even my description mentioning food over and over again.  This is just the aftermath of a summer festival spent with your friends.

Doll Parts (rhubarb, white cake, white peach, cassis, osmanthus, ginger flower) by Hole was released in 1994 and is such an iconic song from my teenage years.  Here is the link to the YouTube video I listened to while reviewing.  I am, doll eyes, doll mouth, doll legs.  This is all peach in the vial while on my skin the cake, cassis, and ginger come out to smooth that out.  This is so different.  Juicy, fruity, almost like bubble gum this scent is almost innocent to an extreme.  I want to take Doll Parts and New Radio and rub them all over. This keeps from going too innocent, or rather, it backs that innocent bus up a bit and realizes it’s supposed to be heading in a different direction.  Another one that just gets better as it sits.  The bubble gum association never completely goes away, but it’s more like a memory.

Finally, to round out this mix tape, we have Rid of Me (magnolia, sambac jasmine, ylang, white pepper, grapefruit blossom, ambrette, satin musk, oudh) by PJ Harvey which was released in 1993.  This is the video I watched while reviewing this scent.  PJ Harvey was my best friend’s favorite singer.  I only ever listened to PJ Harvey while I was at her house so it has a strong association to her.  In the vial I get a bit of pepper, some of the oudh and a touch of musk.  On my skin the musk comes out more as does the magnolia.  The ylang and the jasmine give this a heady and southern feel to the blend.  The oudh (love oudh) is a wonderful woody and sweet base to this scent.  There’s almost an incense quality to the blend.  It’s light flowing skin scent that quietly sneaks up on you to steal your heart.

This is a wonderful collection and I’m so glad I was able to get samples and try them out!  They should be released on Sixteen92’s site soon!  Now to decide what I can’t live without …

 

Sixteen92 – EDP and oils

Another wonderful order from the fabulous Sixteen92!  They had something of a flash sale for the oils, a return of past favorites, and having only recently begun dipping my toes in the proverbial water and being smitten, I had to grab them!

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photo by smellallthethings

You may also notice that EDP is from their Spring 2016 Collection that I reviewed here.  I couldn’t pass it up!  The Primrose Path is just like spring and the earth in a bottle it’s so lovely.  The notes are Soaked earth, lichen, ancient oak roots, grass, water lily, heavy stone, a tangled garland of faded spring blooms.  Not much of a difference between the oil and the EDP.  I get so much of that lovely moist earth on initial spray.  And stone!  Who knew stones had a scent?  It’s all greenery, soft and warm, with the earth underneath and the breeze gently blowing.  The longer this sits the more you get the old oak tree and the lichen.  It’s almost like being in an ancient forest surrounded by plants and trees that you just know have been around for centuries.  For some reason the EDP feels older than the oil, whereas the oil is more fresh.

And of course I have to follow that beauty up with The Orchard Keeper whose notes include night blooming jasmine, peach, apricot, pink pepper, sandalwood.  This scent opens with a beautiful jasmine and peach combination that is sweet and almost sultry.  It doesn’t take long for that sandalwood to come into the picture.  The apricot adds a bright, but not juicy, sweetness to the blend and the pink pepper gives a touch of perky spice.  I could see this being the perfect scent for a peach orchard.  Beautifully soft, slightly decadent, and sinfully sweet.

Finally I grabbed a 6ml of The Sound and the Fury and its notes include southern sweet tea, Carolina jessamine, balsam, fern, warm skin musk, loam.  Oh wow, now I wish I hadn’t chickened out of the big bottle.  The jessamine is soft and velvety, perfect for those relaxing days.  The tea isn’t strong, like I had feared it would be.  The balsam, fern, and loam give a wonderful greenness to the blend that isn’t overdone.  I have quite a few ferns growing in my front garden and I recognized the scent!  The skin musk gives that warm glow you can only get from sun warmed skin.

Overall I am super pleased with my blind purchases!  It means I’m finally learning how Sixteen92 works for me and my skin chemistry!

Deep Midnight Perfumes Samples

Found this gorgeous perfumer on Etsy and heard some great things about them from Indie Perfume Lovers facebook groupDeep Midnight Perfumes has a ton of sample options either singly or by collection.  I got sample packs of Steampunk Girls and Wicked Girls along with a free sample per collection set and one for being a new customer!  You can either choose your own, or let them choose.  I wanted to be surprised so I let them choose!

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photo by smellallthethings

First up is Seven Veils whose notes include madagascar vanilla, velvety orchids, white florals, the softest musk, sweet golden amber, spices and exotic resins.  In the vial I get orchids and a touch of those spices and resins!  On my skin this is so smooth.  The vanilla is beautiful and full, the musk is gentle, and the amber is glorious.  There is something exotic (oh yeah, resins) about this blend – gentle and sweet, alluring and mysterious, and just almost purple in feel.  I could see myself wearing this to bed, or on a sexy night out (yes, it works for both).  Despite how soft this scent is it does have a really good throw on it.  I keep getting beautiful whiffs of purple orchids and gentle musk with sweet vanilla.  This has some excellent lasting power to it, really amazing.

King Cake is described as: Based on the traditional and scrumptious Mardi Gras King Cake, which is made with a yeasty bread and Danish type dough, braided and filled with cinnamon and sometimes various fruits jams or nuts and then topped with sugary or cream cheese frosting.  I am almost ashamed to admit that I have never had a King Cake – but I’m not big into Mardi Gras either, so it shouldn’t be too surprising.  That being said this is CAKE and cream cheese frosting in the vial.  There’s a touch of cinnamon, a bit of a nutty quality, and something almost bready.  It’s this weird cake/bread mix.  Like a dense cake.  The more it sits the more the cinnamon comes out.  Unfortunately this kicks my gourmand button and I can’t stomach much more.  But cake lovers will definitely enjoy this!

Selene by Night has notes of black orchids, deep dark exotic woods, enigmatic cypress, dragon’s blood and the faintest kiss of spice.  Cypress is prominent in the vial as well as on my skin.  However as it touches my skin the woods and spice come out.  The orchids give a hot-house feel to the blend.  This is inky blackness, expansive and almost oppressive, yet stunning.  The dragon’s blood is commanding and rich.  This has a great throw, excellent longevity.  This might need a touch of aging because the dragon’s blood tries to go to soap with my chemistry.

Vixen Venom entices with its notes of a blend of rich amber, sweet musk, the sweetest vanilla, and a dash of patchouli for that extra bite!  This is a lovely patchouli vanilla in the vial.  On my skin that amber and musk come out.  Man I can’t believe the awesome.  This is seductive, tantalizing, and down right sexy.  The amber is darkly golden while the vanilla is sweet, but not foodie and with the barest touch of patchouli this blend just out does itself.

Next up is Ladies of London whose notes are sensual florals highlighted with lily of the Valley, spicy indulgent opium, a bowlful of the deepest sensual red berries, and caresses of frankincense and patchouli for added mystery.  In the vial this is all red berries and opium.  On my skin it is much of the same though it takes on a bit of a fizzy feeling, as though there is champagne in the blend.  The flowers are strong, the opium wafting, and the berries mashed into a delightful drink.  The frankincense and patchouli are more of the incense type instead of a resin and it’s like they are being burnt on opposite sides of the room and making their way towards you.  These ladies of London may look innocent at first, however, they are anything but.

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photo by smellallthethings

I decided to go on and combine these reviews instead of doing it in two parts.  So this is Clockwork Cutie!  YAY!  Its notes are fresh wild berries, concord grapes on the vine, a whisper of dark flowers from a secret Victorian garden, and a soft vanilla accord.  In the vial I get a beautiful juicy blast of berries and grapes, and that stays true on my skin, however there are now flowers wafting around.  It’s a very sweet blend, very juicy and fun!  The flowers are doing a good job at keeping the fruit from going too crazy and now as it dries the vanilla is coming out.  Oh wow, once this dries completely it’s a beautiful floral and fruit blend – fun and fancy free, yet somehow there’s a sophistication to this perfume!

Flights of Fancy gives way to notes of mahogany wood, amber, lavender, brown sugar, oak, with faint and fresh background notes of peach and pear.  In the vial this is wood and sugar – sweet and warm.  There is a bit of lavender and it’s not making me cringe with pain!  The peach and pear are juicy but they are under everything else.  The woods are beautiful, golden, and fragrant.  I really like how wonderful this is – it’s like floaty and flowing – beautifully constructed and makes me want to close my eyes and inhale deeply.  Also, I’m so trilled to find another company whose lavender doesn’t make my sinus scream in pain!  The brown sugar is only adding a hint of sweetness and that beautiful touch of darkness from molasses.

Agent of Chaos!  Sounds like a good book eh?  No book, but it has notes that include an exotic Chypre accord, rich leather, bergamot, lemon, sweet sugars, cardamon and clove, followed up with softer backgrounds notes of mahogany, oakmoss, and a faint touch of jasmine.  In the vial it’s all sweet spices, like a good foodie fall scent.  On my skin it still has that association, but the leather and chypre pull it back from that foodie edge.  The clove is not overpowering at all, actually none of the spices are overpowering.  This is really well blended, dark and mysterious!  Perfect for an Agent of Chaos!  I’m really digging this blend!  It’s leaning a touch masculine but there’s enough jasmine to keep it on the feminine side.  Actually this reminds me a lot of what I think Zoë from Firefly would smell like (which is who I named my youngest after).  Oh man, any association Firefly means I need it!

Rounding this out is Chocolate Earth, one of the freebie’s, and it has notes of Dark Chocolate, Plump Fresh Raspberries, Dark Five Year Aged Patchouli, and a touch of Sweet Cream.  So … I typically dislike chocolate and cocoa scents – they just don’t sit well with me and that is a personal preference and nothing against any perfumer that uses chocolate in their blends because there are plenty of other people who crave it.  To each their own.  In the vial it is dark chocolate and patchouli – a bit different to be sure.  On my skin I … am not sure what I’m smelling.  I know there’s a patchouli but that’s about all I can smell.  It takes 5-10 minutes but eventually I get raspberries, soft and juicy, with a touch of cream.  There’s no discernible chocolate to my nose.  I double checked the vial to make sure there wasn’t any cocoa or something sitting and I needed to roll it and there’s nothing.  Maybe the chocolate and patchouli are so well intertwined that I just can’t pull it apart.  This is like leaning against a fragrant tree while eating raspberries and cream.

Alkemia Samples

I’ve got more samples from Alkemia to review!  So far I’ve been super impressed with all their scents, even the ones that don’t work on me.

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photo by smellallthethings

Gaea symbolizes Earth and Mother – so perfect for Mother’s Day (May 8th if you’ve forgotten!) and it has notes of sun-warmed loam, decaying leaves, moss, lichen, & wet stones.  First sniff in the vial is all earth and dampness.  On my skin however I get the sun-speckled loam, the decaying leaves of the forest floor, damp scent that is exclusive to forests, and I also get stone!  Who knew stones had a scent?  The moss and lichen add to the overall greenness and dampness of the blend.  This is a beautiful earthy scent – different from Hexennacht and entirely it’s own, but if you enjoy the earthiness of that blend, you’ll probably dig this one too!

Bohème is described on the site as an intoxicatingly free-spirited unisex blend of earthy patchouli and blood-red roses. Erotically radiant.  In the vial I get earthy red roses – just big ‘ole bunches of them.  On my skin is much of the same.  I’ve had a rather rocky history with roses – it’s taken nearly 8 years of my perfume wearing to actually wear them.  Initially on my skin the roses almost scream but that settles rather quickly.  It is a very earthy patchouli – almost dirt-like  (apparently I had a theme) with roses, deep and sultry, bringing up the top.  This has a rather large throw on me and I can smell this without really putting my nose to the skin at all.

So maybe there were two theme’s running through my scent choices that I was completely unaware of.  Next is Vanille Patchouli with a scent described as purest vanilla seduced and despoiled by wild, dirty patchouli.  Another simplistic yet well done blend.  This isn’t like any patchouli I’ve tried from Alkemia yet (amazing how that happens).  No, this is that dirty nitty-gritty patchouli that gets described as “hippy shop” or “head shop”.  But with it is this absolutely sweet, almost floral, and beautiful vanilla.  It cuts through the grit and smooths it out.  Again, another blend done best when done simply.

New Orleans Love Spell sounds like it’s in for a good time!  It’s notes include a lascivious blend of night-flowering New Orleans jasmine and fiery spices igniting a base of red sandalwood and skin musk.  Ooh, the vial has this nice soft spice scent about it.  On my skin I get the jasmine and sandalwood under that beautiful spicy scent!  I get something like cassia or cinnamon, but it’s more than just that – there’s other scents (most likely florals and a pepper) that round out that spicy note and make it complex.  This is a warm and sexy blend, one that would need to be used sparingly as it has a beautiful throw and a little goes a long way.  As time went on this definitely put a spell on me.  I couldn’t stop sniffing that spot and kept catching beautiful whiffs of it floating around me.

Desiderata looks like a wonderful spring to summer transition scent with notes of fresh honeysuckle blooming under a rising full moon, ivy vines, dew dampened grass, riverbed clay, old barnwood, and earthy vetivert root.  In the vial is a beautiful green scent – like crushes leaves or grass.  On my skin I actually get a moon-like scent – white and crystalline.  Oh wow, this is like sitting next to a babbling creek bed looking up at the full moon and checking out the Milky Way.  Somehow this is calming, soothing, and almost meditative.